Skip to main content

Henry Austin Driver and family: Letters and Papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8198

Scope and Contents

The collection covers much of H.A. Driver's life and career, although not all aspects and periods are fully illustrated. Other family members are featured, but the papers concerning them tend to be fragmentary and allusive. The collection comprises two boxes. The first holds 24 bundles of letters and papers and two travel journals, all relating to Driver or to members of his family (1-26). The greater part of the family correspondence dates from the second and third decades of the nineteenth century. There is a little material from the 1830s onwards, and a few eighteenth century papers, both of Driver's family, as well as that of his wife Mary (17). The papers relating to Driver's children date mainly from the second half of the nineteenth century. They include business correspondence of his eldest son, Alfred George (21), and a small number of letters or copies of letters from Driver's three children in Australia, illustrating their impressions of the country and of each other (16/7-10). The correspondence of Driver's brother Thomas mentions the Anglo-American war of 1812-1815, as well as and providing descriptions of life in Bermuda and a detailed account of a visit to Demerara in 1822 (4/52). There are also a few letters and poems of Thomas Driver, senior (19). Correspondents outside the family include H.A. Driver's childhood friends in Cambridge, Samuel Peed (11) and Joseph Ingle (12), and his London friends William Churchill (13) and George Ringer and his sister Henrietta (14). There is also correspondence between Driver and the poet Thomas Moore (15/2), the painter Henry Aston Barker (15/6), the Egyptologist Samuel Sharpe (15/31), and the architect Sir Charles Barry (15/37). In addition to the letters, there are numerous mementos and family souvenirs (22-24). The second box holds MSS of most of Driver's literary works (mainly poetic), dating from the 1830s and 1840s, including The Arabs (29) and Harold de Brun (31), and his draft novel on the Fine Arts (45-51), which includes chapters on architecture and sculpture. There are also lectures and notes for lectures delivered to the Islington Literary and Scientific Society (35-44).


  • Creation: 1759-1927


Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


2 archive box(es) (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



H.A. Driver sorted most of the correspondence and some of the other papers in the collection into bundles, which he wrapped and labelled. Some of the remaining papers were sorted roughly at a later date, apparently 1903, but were still in some disorder. Where possible the original bundles, as arranged by Driver, have been retained, but rearrangement has been necessary for much of the collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased 1978.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom